Welcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy Issues and Headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth and on Capitol Hill.
1. Fairfax Considers Regulations on Running Bamboo
The Fairfax County Board authorized advertisement of a public hearing to be held on February 22 at 3:30PM for consideration of the adoption of an ordinance to establish regulations on running bamboo. To provide testimony, please click here.
2. City of Alexandria Revised Noise Ordinance in Effect
The City of Alexandria’s revised noise control ordinance, which offers more protection in residential areas, went into effect on January 1, 2022. City Council’s adoption culminated in a comprehensive effort to make the City’s noise control ordinance legally enforceable and more protective of residential areas, while allowing reasonable vibrancy in the business corridors during business hours.
The following policy changes are now in effect:
- Do-it-yourself construction activities are regulated by the permitted hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
- Permissible noise limits at the property lines are determined by the property use category of the noise source.
- The City adopts the more restrictive plainly audible standard from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. in residential areas.
- The “Noise in Public Places—Central Business District” provisions are expanded for regulating noise in public places in all parts of the city.
- Loading, unloading and delivery activities are prohibited between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., if they occur within 500 feet of residential areas.
- The decibel standard for commercial use is increased to 65 dB(A) for daytime hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., while the nighttime standard remains at 60 dB(A).
- The civil penalty for noise violations is increased to $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second violation and $500 for the third violation.
3. Fairfax County Housing Symposium [Sponsored by NVAR!]
The third annual Fairfax County Housing Symposium on Thursday, March 17, from 9AM to 3:30PM will, once again, bring together elected leaders, industry professionals, policy experts, and housing advocates with the primary goal of advancing the role of affordable housing within the fabric of our community. We are excited to announce that Ryan McLaughlin will moderate a session in the Symposium.
This year’s theme – A Foundation for Economic Recovery, Growth, and Opportunity – will include a look at the impacts of and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; growing personal wealth through homeownership; advancing economic mobility through housing opportunities; and the preservation/modernization of affordable housing through innovation. To register click here.
4. Public Comment Invited as Loudoun Board Refers Three Draft Redistricting Plans for Review
Members of the public are now able to view and comment on three draft local redistricting plans that have been selected by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors for further evaluation and refinement. Members of the public can review these plans through an online viewer, which allows users to compare plans to one another and evaluate how each plan addresses the Board of Supervisors’ adopted 2021 redistricting guidelines, which are available at loudoun.gov/redistricting.
5. Loudoun's development plan is still not working out as planned
By ALEX KOMA, Washington Business Journal (Subscription required for articles)
Six hundred housing units and no new retail for the Shops at Arcola Center? Matt Letourneau could hardly believe it. Loudoun’s Dulles District supervisor had followed the Westbrook Properties project for years, watching it trade hands among developers, add a Google data center, even win — and then, painfully, lose — a Wegmans. But through it all, Letourneau remained hopeful that the development would become a mixed-use center rivaling One Loudoun or Loudoun Station for people living just to the west of the airport. That’s why this summer’s proposal for a massive residential rezoning was so jarring for Letourneau, who represents many of the communities surrounding Arcola Center.
6. Arlington County Board Debuts Community Podcast
Today, the Arlington County Board launched its new Board Wrap-Up podcast. Format for the new podcast series will include Board members and guests discussing recent activities as well as topics suggested by the community. Board Wrap-Up can now be accessed after the Board’s recessed meetings on Spotify and Anchor. The first installment features Board Chair Katie Cristol and Vice-Chair Christian Dorsey talking with Catherine Buell, Director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. The three will discuss their partnership in Arlington addressing safe, stable, and affordable housing and their vision for 2022. For the new podcast, the community is encouraged to suggest topics and guests by contacting the Board at email@example.com.